On a Hurricane Harvey relief mission with owner-operator Bill Ater

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As this photo from Seguin show, trucks staged there at the site of the Randolph Air Force Base Auxiliary Airport. Monday afternoon, Ater sat on a runway where around 150 other trucks were staged for power-only efforts in support of Hurricane Harvey relief.
As this photo from Seguin show, trucks staged there at the site of the Randolph Air Force Base Auxiliary Airport. Monday afternoon, Ater sat on a runway where around 150 other trucks were staged for power-only efforts in support of Hurricane Harvey relief.

Landstar-leased owner-operator Bill Ater, based in Fort Worth, Texas, had his “feet in the starting blocks, hands on the floor” and was “waiting on the starting shot” when I talked to him Tuesday, August 29, staged in South Texas for relief shuttles associated with Hurricane Harvey. “Welcome to my world when I’m working FEMA,” he said.

Ater’s worked 14 or 15 hurricane relief efforts over as many years with Landstar, he says, all of which offer a chance he says he appreciates as much or more for the human connections than the income opportunity, in the end.

Owner-operator Ater hauls in this 2000 Freightliner FLD, powered by a Series 60 Detroit. As shown in the picture, his typical trailer is a step deck, those for relief shuttle operations he’s hauling pre-loaded trailers.Owner-operator Ater hauls in this 2000 Freightliner FLD, powered by a Series 60 Detroit. As shown in the picture, his typical trailer is a step deck, those for relief shuttle operations he’s hauling pre-loaded trailers.

Run through what he’s doing this week and more from his history hauling FEMA loads with Landstar’s Emergency Services division in the podcast in players up top and below. Ater typically hauls a step deck. He got the call to participate in this recent relief effort from an agent he’s worked with in the past. It came in after Hurricane Harvey landfall this past weekend, when Ater was in attendance at the Great American Trucking Show. When he got the call, he made a call himself to his old running friend, an owner-operator based near Shreveport, La., whom he met on his first hurricane relief effort around Norfolk, Va., back in 2003. Then he dropped his trailer at the house, loaded up with supplies of water and food and made his way South.

Take a listen …

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